So you’ve somehow managed to trick someone into paying you for whatever remedial task it is that you’ll be dragging yourself out of bed for this time. Despite your mates on the Dole warning you against it and despite having no social skills, no expertise nor any real experience in this area, or indeed any other area for that matter, you have gone and gotten yourself a job. Not an easy task in this economy so let me be the first to congratulate you.
Right about now you are probably feeling a mixture of excitement and nausea at the prospect of going to work. Excitement because you will be exchanging your much wasted time for much needed money with which to buy necessities such as milk, food or that tea towel with the picture of a bunny rabbit on it that you’ve had your eye on for the last while, and nauseous because there is a very real chance that your employer will see you as the incompetent fraud that you are moments after you sit down at your desk.
What if the boss wants to practice his Japanese with you- a language you claimed to speak on your C.V.? What if they actually decide to test your ability to type the 350 words per minute you boasted in the interview? Looking back it seems you may have overshot or at the very least exaggerated slightly.
You know that every minuscule manoeuvre will be watched, scrutinised and criticised. You also know that the person sitting next to you hates the fact he’s been lumped with babysitting you and despises being the one that has to deal with every clueless question that comes out of your goddamn mouth. This is beneath him and he knows you know it. Not to mention the fact that not only has he been passed over for that promotion again, the one he worked his bollocks off to get, but here you come, swanning in looking all fresh faced with excitement at the prospect of having stationary with your own name on it! Plus it looks like you’ve had some sleep, something he hasn’t had since ’95. In fact, the only person who realises your incompetence more than you, is this guy. Not only do you not know how to file a 220, but you don’t even have the slightest inkling as to what a 220 is! In short he hates you and would love nothing more than to see your ass turning and bolting for that door never to darken his overused P.C. again.
Yes work will be a huge change from waking up at noon, sitting on your couch all day playing your play station and having an assortment of cereal as your staple diet but try not to worry, you’ll get used to it. the anxiety you are feeling is totally normal. Everybody feels like this on their first day but, while it can be difficult to do, it is important to keep your composure, don’t panic and don’t let them walk all over you or take advantage of your cluelessness.
Those of us who have changed careers more times than The Stig changes gears know how important it is to assert your dominance early lest you want to be the ‘Tea Guy’ for all of eternity. We also know that now is the best time to fuck up at work and as a Newbie you can literally get away with murder. After all, who suspects the new guy?